Isnin, 11 November 2013

The Star eCentral: Movie Buzz

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The Star eCentral: Movie Buzz

Film about dangers of pro American football


British filmmaker Ridley Scott is set to tackle the feature.

After completing his biblical film on the life of Moses, British director Ridley Scott plans to focus on the physical and psychological damage experienced by professional American football players in his next film, reports.

In particular, Scott's next film will look into brain damage and other long-term effects experienced by players of American football. The idea for the film came to the director, an avid fan of contact sports, following several controversial revelations that have shaken the world of American football in recent years.

It recently came to light that several former professional players experienced chronic encephalopathy caused by the repeated concussions they suffered throughout their careers on the field. Scott has already obtained a wealth of information on the subject, which has sparked the attention of both doctors and sports professionals.

The director specifically examined the cases of pro players Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, both driven to suicide in the past two years by traumatic chronic encephalopathy. For several other players, multiple concussions experienced over the years have led to dementia or memory loss.

Before focusing on this controversial subject, Scott will complete Exodus, his Moses biopic slated for release in 2014, headlined by Christian Bale.

Currently in theatres in the US is the director's most recent film, The Counselor, a thriller with a particularly prestigious cast (Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem). — AFP Relaxnews

Mini movie reviews


The hammer of Thor strikes hard and fast in the great sequel, but it's Loki who steals the show. Frequently.

Thor: The Dark World

FORGET about the relatively bland villain, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), or the fairly useless Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), this sequel is the Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) show.

Hemsworth has settled quite comfortably into his titular role, while Hiddleston shines as the vengeful Loki.

With the once-in-five-millennia cosmic alignment of the Nine Realms occurring, a dark force called the Aether and ancient Asgardian foes the Dark Elves are awakened.

Director Alan Taylor deftly balances story and character development with action, to give us a well-paced movie that allows most of its characters to shine.

I also appreciated the visual design of the film, especially in Asgard.

While the movie isn't perfect, it is certainly bound to be a crowd-pleaser. Go watch it, and don't forget to stay right until the END of the credits for a big reveal. — Tan Shiow Chin (****)

Tom Yum Goong 2

It had to happen. Someone actually dared to string up a batch of action footage and pass it off as a movie. But I have to say this: the action is jaw-dropping and Thai action maestro Tony Jaa is really kick-ass.

I've never seen anybody fight so much in a movie. Not even Donnie Yen or Jet Li or Jackie Chan (so Jaa gets one star, and so does the action). In fact, none of the characters in the movie needs much of a reason to fight. It feels just like a videogame, where each new scenario is yet another reason to clash.

If hard-hitting action is your thing, then Tom Yum Goong 2 will definitely give you your money's worth. — Seto Kit Yan (**)

Baby Blues

Here's another compelling premise involving haunted dolls that sadly doesn't quite deliver.

It's inspired by folklore where a haunted doll, desiring affection, attaches itself to a young family with a new baby. Baby Blues sees a series of calamities befalling twins who move into a beautiful but spooky old house.

Unfortunately, Jimmy the doll is no Chucky; the scenes where the creepy doll is supposed to deliver the scares made people snigger instead.

The worst part comes when a doctor dismisses everything as a hallucination brought on by "baby blues", and apparently fathers get it too, not just mothers.

Even stolen kisses between Hong Kong heartthrob Raymond Lam and siren Kate Tsui can't save this lacklustre scarer. — SKY (**)

Raymond Lam in Hong Kong 3D horror flick Baby Blues helmed by Leong Po-Chih

Raymond Lam in Hong Kong 3D horror flick Baby Blues helmed by Leong Po-Chih.


Building on his recent successes playing anti-heroes in films like Mankatha and Billa, Ajith Kumar is captivating here as the mysterious AK, who is seemingly mixed up in a series of bombings and murders in Mumbai.

The story begins with him kidnapping hacker extraordinaire Arjun (Arya), holding him hostage and forcing him to break into various organisations. As Arjun tries to escape AK's clutches, he slowly discovers that things are not what they seem to be.

Their chemistry makes the movie great fun to watch, with Ajith bringing the cool quotient and Arya providing the laughs. Slick action scenes in various international locations add to the enjoyment.

Admittedly, the plot is nothing new, and some parts tend to drag. But thanks to its leading man's charisma, Aarambam ends up being a fun, if not terribly memorable, ride. — Sharmilla Ganesan (***)

Ajith Kumar in Aarambam.

Ajith Kumar in Aarambam.

Escape Plan

Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is an expert at finding the weaknesses in maximum-security prisons, and escaping from them.

One day, the CIA hires him to test the ultimate facility, created to contain the world's most dangerous criminals who have been detained without trial.

But when he gets there, he discovers that he has been set up and is a prisoner for real.

Determined to escape, he teams up with another inmate, Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger), to form an escape plan.

Stallone and Schwarzenegger are doing what they do best, and the story and acting overall are actually more nuanced than one would expect from this type of movie.

While it is entertaining enough, what elevates it from a two-star movie to three for me are a few standout moments, mostly involving Schwarzenegger.

Watch out in particular for his "crazed German" act and gun-blazing scene near the end. — TSC (***)

Escape Plan stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Jim Caviezel

Escape Plan stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Jim Caviezel.

Rigor Mortis

Spectacular. One word says it all. Rigor Mortis has been packing movie theatres and heralded by film critics as the birth of a new generation of Hong Kong cinema. The reason: stylish sequences of Taoist exorcism and superb performances by Mr Vampire movie veterans easily propel this ghoulish horror/slasher populated by ghosts, vampires, zombies into Hong Kong's horror hall of fame.

Writer/director Juno Mak may not have left much of a mark as a pop star, but his atmospheric directorial debut shows that he is a filmmaker to look out for.

If there is one horror movie you have to see this year, then this is it. I just wish I had watched it in 3D. (Warning: Don't let your kid watch this, or he'll never go to the bathroom alone again.) — SKY (****)


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